- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee (May 11, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585423181
- ISBN-13: 978-1585423187
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,725,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use Paperback – May 6, 2004
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"Jacob Sullum dismantles the antidrug messages." The New Yorker
"A welcome departure from the choreographed war on drugs." The Washington Post
About the Author
Jacob Sullum is the author of For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health. He is a senior editor at Reason and a syndicated columnist with Creator's Syndicate. Sullum's weekly column appears in newspapers across the country. His work has also appeared in Cigar Aficionado, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times.
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Readers who have read a great deal on this subject will find much here that's familiar, but it's nice to have it all in one place and footnoted. And while I have quite a library of books on alcohol and other drugs, I did find a considerable amount of new info and thought-provoking angles. A very nice job.
I personally have not tried, nor will I be trying, most of the drugs that are discussed in this book but I can say that I recognize the futility in our societal war on whatever the FDA and DEA suspect private individuals of currently enjoying at the moment. Some of the arguments he presents are quite convincing such as the legitimate medical uses of marijuana, and also the way we avoid examining the occasional darkness of human nature by making drugs the scapegoat for the acts of promiscuous sex, violence, and irresponsibility that we commit. Much of "Saying Yes" is a historical survey of drug origins and interdiction efforts, and this background information is absolutely fascinating. Some of the discussion left me unmoved as I do not buy LSD as having any legitimate uses, but I was glad to read views that contradicted my own on the subject.
Overall, a strong "yes" must be given in regards to this book. We should not be surprised as Jacob Sullum has always been an engaging and stylistic writer. I read his articles in Reason whenever I get the chance.
It is fascinating to see that in terms of morality and health scares drugs follow the path of tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco used to be the entry to drinking in the eyes of overzealous preachers. Now, marijuana is the gate to heroin and LSD.
The fact is, in essence drugs are no different from alcohol. They affect the mind in similar way, are addictive to the same degree and cause similar degree of harm to health depending on the dose. This latter factor, the dose, is continuously ignored and forgotten by the moralists. Apparently, drinking a glass of wine is good for your health. I will add that smoking coule of cigarettes a day is probably also more beneficial than harmful. On the other hand, taking amphetamine at the Rave party once a month is absolutely destructive for your health. Come again, why is that?
The policy of banning drugs does not work. Prisons are getting bigger, ad drug use more prevalent. Besides, some psycho-social effects of some drugs are more beneficial that those of perfectly legal alcohol. Ever seen someone smoking a joint and getting into a fight? What about having a few Vodka shots?
Discussions about drugs should be more prevalent and truthful. So far, examples where drugs were decriminalized or destigmatized brought a lot of benefits. On the other hand, even death penalty for traffiking drugs in Asia does not stop the mules attempting it. Instead of telling the youngsters scary stories about drugs we should educate them with real facts, and make sure kids understand what they are doing when they decide to play with drugs.